I love this time of year. The lights, the music, the break from routine. But, sometimes I still want to flip off that guy who cuts me off in traffic or eat 95 cookies to fill some empty space.
We made 10 kinds of cookies this weekend. SICK, I tell ya.
As festive, cheery and fun the holidays are supposed to be – this isn’t always the case. This time of year is really rough for some people – those who are alone, those who are stuck in memories of what could or should have been, those who have experienced tremendous loss and devastation. Sometimes we need to know that it is okay to not feel wholeheartedly happy during this time of year. In fact, what sometimes makes us the most unhappy is that we put pressure on ourselves to be happy. Ironic, isn’t it?
So, I propose to you some ideas for how to get through when you’re just not feeling it:
1. Slow the f*ck down. Most of us are already up to our eyeballs in busy-ness, then the holidays hit and we think we have to be super people who home bake our holiday gifts, put the damn elf on the shelf and send out 500 holiday cards. Remember you don’t have to do it all, cut yourself a break and know that you are enough.
Tip: Physically slow yourself down as you go through the day. Stop rushing through every errand and batch of cookies. It makes a difference (except for when you’re trying to do intervals – then you can speed up).
2. Shut up and run . The very moment when you feel so tired, so depressed, so unmotivated to run, bike, swim, do yoga, whatever – is the exact moment when you need to just shut up and do it. Trust me on this one. Physiologically, something happens when we begin to move, when our blood begins to flow faster and our heart rate becomes elevated. The body releases soothing and uplifting chemicals that can have an almost drug-like effect. It’s a FREE and LEGAL high people!!
3. Accept where you are. Don’t pressure yourself to “feel better” or to be joyful and festive. Muster up what you have and offer that. Trust that you will climb out eventually, but in the meantime, let yourself feel the heaviness. And, be careful about getting sucked into Facebook and Twitter where it is very easy to start sinking deeper in the black hole of “the grass is greener” syndrome.
4. Find it in the little things. Indulge in the small things that make you happy and don’t feel guilty about it. Spend an extra $5 to get yourself a peppermint mocha. Linger in bed 15 minutes longer. Watch a stupid ass movie on Lifetime. Go onto Pinterest and find the most ridiculously sinful food item and salivate and go to the grocery store to get the ingredients and make it.
5. Help someone. It is incredibly easy to get so inwardly focused that we shut out the world. All around you are opportunities to help someone. I know in the couple of weeks after Lucky died, I made it a point to reach out to help – I took dinners to sick friends, I bought Christmas gifts for a baby I’d never met. Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to be there for others.
And, for God’s sake, drink and be merry in case the world ends on Friday.
Got any tips to get through the holiday doldrums?